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British champion Cacace believes 2021 can be his best year yet if he's given the chance to prove it


Anthony Cacace

Anthony Cacace

Getty Images

Anthony Cacace

Anthony Cacace believes 2021 can be the defining year of his career - if he is given the opportunities.

The British super-featherweight champion is set to make the first defence of his title in February against Leon Woodstock after the bout was postponed from last month and he expects that to be a springboard to money-spinning showdowns.

The Belfast man has had a frustrating year on the sidelines but is determined to make sure that the next 12 months will be memorable and financially rewarding. Ranked nine by the WBA, it is the world scene that he wants to be part of - and sparring for the past week with Carl Frampton reminded him of his potential.

"I've got this British title defence with Woodstock but once I take care of him - and I'm not looking past him - I want fights that will take me up the world rankings and earn me big money. I've been in this sport 20 years and I want to get something out of it.

"Whoever I'm asked to face, I'll face - whoever wants it can have it," said a defiant Cacace, who sparked his career into life last November with a stunning win over Sam Bowen for the British title.

"I've had a great time working with Carl. We've had some very good spars. It's not every day you get to spar a two-weight world champion - and he's paying me, I should be paying him! I've sparred Carl in the past but I have to say I've never seen him this good, he's boxing so smartly, he's very sharp.

"I know I belong at world level and I just want the chance to prove it. I've told my team that's what I want - fights like Archie Sharp or Samir Ziani the European champion, anybody who will take me forward to a world title shot. I want to face the best."

The financial burden for the majority of fighters during the pandemic has been extreme and Cacace knows he is fortunate to have a fight lined up on BT Sport, part of a promotional deal with Frank Warren who can open the door to his world title dream.

"This has been a very tough time for fighters and I'm still not at the stage that I can live full-time off boxing. I've been very fortunate to have the backing of two sponsors in particular, Cosyroof and Chaco Cosmetics - they have helped me a lot," added Cacace.

While Frampton prepares for his WBO world super-featherweight title clash with champion Jamel Herring, the WBA belt is currently held by Gervonta Davis though he is expected to move up to lightweight, while the IBF title is held by Jo Diaz and the WBC title by Miguel Berchelt who meets Oscar Valdez in a mouthwatering clash in February.

By the end of February the path to a world title should be a lot clearer for Cacace, though he is adamant that for now all his focus is on challenger Woodstock.

He added: "Woodstock is a game guy, he always puts up a tough fight so it's up to me to be on my game and deliver a good performance so I can push on for bigger opportunities."

Sunday Life